Divorce can be hard at the best of times.
The feelings of loss, shame and fear of what the future holds are all too common when your marriage breaks down.
Dealing with separation can be close to impossible when your ex-partner turns vindictive and nasty. Their feelings towards you often feel like they have come from nowhere.
What did I do wrong? Why are they so angry with me? Who is this person that I use to love?
In this article we look at why a divorce can turn ugly and what you can do about it.
What Leads To An Ugly Divorce?
When we recently spoke to a number of local psychologists, there seemed to be a common pattern that can lead to a marriage turning ugly.
One Partner Starts Keeping Things To Themselves
It usually starts with one spouse having a secret. This secret doesn’t have to be something significant. It can be as simple as feeling dissatisfied with the relationship; however, they don’t communicate this with their partner.They lie to their spouse how they feel, yet at the same time, their feelings turn negative towards the relationship and they start living in the zone of “it’s over” without telling the partner.The other spouse is left wondering what is going on, and still thinks the marriage is fine. This toxic mindset continues to go under the radar and slowly destroys the relationship.
The Spouse Builds Up ‘Evidence’
As the spouse’s negative view towards their partner continues, they start to collect evidence to support their view against the “evil” person they are married too.
They are mean. They ruined my life. I hate them.
The spouse will continue to build a case against their partner in order to justify their feelings. They feel they are the innocent one because they continue to convince themselves of all the nasty things their partner is doing.
In fact, what is actually happening is the spouse is withholding their feelings and not communicating. They are the cause of all the tension in the relationship.
They are not having the necessary conversations with their spouse to say how they are feeling and take the steps to resolve the situation. Instead, they lie and justify their actions, creating an even more toxic environment.
They Cannot Acknowledge Their Part In The Separation
Often this same spouse is so caught up in the negative spiral they have created towards their partner, that they cannot acknowledge their part in the downfall of the marriage.
They believe they are innocent and find it difficult to see how they have contributed to the current situation. Their game is blaming others and playing innocent. They are often not even conscious of their decisions and the impact it is having. This behavior leads to the complete breakdown of communication between the spouses.
How To Deal With An Angry Spouse
Often the best way to deal with an angry ex-spouse is to see their response for what it is.Often when a marriage or relationship breaks down it can bring forth a wide range of emotions. Shame, fear of not being good enough, feeling unlovable, broken, angry, and sometimes joy, which can turn to guilt.Emotions are complex. People response to divorce in very different ways, but everyone feels some sort of emotion, despite the way they act.
Often how people response to these emotions can be through unkind words and actions towards their former spouse and others. Despite what they say to you, it is more about that and what they are dealing with rather than personally about you.If they are feeling powerless and small after their divorce, they can often be cruel as an attempt to reverse this by bringing you down. You can’t stop them from saying cruel things, however, you can control how you response to them and how it affects you.Angry outbursts, manipulation, controlling behavior are all ways some people deal with all the emotions of going through a divorce.
Whilst these responses are not the most constructive way to deal with these emotions when you are caught up in the emotional of it all, seeing your behavior for what it is can be difficult.If you can see their actions as an outlet for their emotions, and not personal to you, then it can help you through some of the tougher times.
Moving Forward After Divorce
Divorce can often turn nasty, however by taking the above advice, you can be sure that it will be smoother.Taking responsibility of how you act and respond in a bad situation can be tough. However, but taking responsibility and understanding your role in the divorce can give you a sense of power and control back into your life.
It can also help set you up powerfully when you do end up getting back in the dating game. But for the moment, hold tight and keep going. Life will get easier.
About The Author
Nathan Hughes and his team of Sydney family lawyers at Familylegalsydney.com understand that family legal issues can often be stressful. They are passionate about providing a high quality and friendly service to help people move forward with their life. Their team is committed to helping couples through their divorce as smoothly and stress-free as possible.